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How Do You Take Your Blog From a Sloppy Joe to a Decadent and Delightful Dish?

Before I get started, I just want to take a second and say Hi to everyone!  I am honored to be part of this amazing group and I chomping at the bits to get off of Puppy Chow.

PBII Could not have been at a better time.  I have been frustrated with my Blog for quite a while and just a few days before it was announced I had decided that to make the jump over to a WordPress.org site. It is currenlty on Quickblog through GoDaddy and the theme for that is definitely NOT like Burger King.  If it’s not the template, it ain’t happenin’. Where as on WP, it’s more like your way, right away.

Turning Houston Green is the site that I am referring to and the content focuses on Green Residential Real Estate for what’s happening in the Houston area.  It is quite unique in that for such a specific niche, there really is nothing else out there unless you hop through several pages of Google.  I have started to notice recently that although it is getting decent traffic, folks are not even making to the page they need to be on.

Apparently what I have is a Sloppy Joe with a side of French Fries.

Although I’m seeing a sitemap in the near future to help, the question I would like to pose is what is the most important thing to keep in mind when organizing the site?  Should you focus solely on Categories and Tags, or with WP should it be pages?  What makes it clean and crisp?

Now that I have my theme up, my biggest task now is making it in to a Delightful dish that will keep consumers coming back for more.  In my case I believe it is in the design, like an unorganized file.  You can be number one on every search engine imaginable but a ‘User Un-Friendly‘ site will just push folks away.  Many would rather have the convenience of McDonald’s than to have a 30 minute wait for Fine Dining. As far as the ease of use for my readers I’m aiming for the convenience of fast food, yet the taste of a Fine Wine.

And, looks like I get to figure out how to do pictures here too.  :)

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  • 15 comments

    15 Comments so far

    1. Cheryl Johnson June 28th, 2008 5:51 pm

      Hi Stephanie! Your blog deals with some complex issues, so its more problematic than an ordinary real estate blog … but… how about a horizontal navigation tab bar? Each tab would link to a page. Each page would contain links to posts or other pages about specific issues?

    2. Cheryl Johnson June 28th, 2008 5:52 pm

      Hi Stephanie! Lookin’ Good! Your blog deals with some complex issues, so its more problematic than an ordinary real estate blog … but… how about a horizontal navigation tab bar? Each tab would link to a page. Each page would contain links to posts or other pages about specific issues?

    3. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 28th, 2008 6:45 pm

      Hi Cheryl, I was thinking as I wrote this that it was a tough one that probably many would not know how to answer. I’ll share my temporary link here so that you can see what I have done so far.

      http://69.89.31.248/~turningh/

      Obviously it is a work in progress but what I was thinking was to use the horizontal bar to separate major stuff (like you can see on there now) to help those that want a quick answer, search bar is at the top, and this would also leave more room in the sidebar..??

      I just hope that when it is done it isn’t more confusing than when I started.

      Right now I have service providers at the top which will link to posts…instead of hidden pages. I like for the posts to be with providers to be optimized as they show up well in da big G. :)

      I’m also thinking about changing out the calendar that shows my posts to one that I can add events too, I do green tours that are basically like open houses..Would be neat to have that on there.

      So, the link will give you a good idea as to where I’m headed with it. :)

      Thanks for the input. Much appreciated!!!

    4. Greg Swann June 28th, 2008 6:53 pm

      Gorgeous.

      When you create a Page with no parent, it will show up in that toolbar and in your sidebar.

      If you create Pages as “children” of your top-level Pages, neither of these will happen, but you can use PHP code to report those Pages out, selectively, in the sidebar or on your top-level Pages. I’ll write this at greater length early next week.

    5. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 28th, 2008 7:01 pm

      Hey Greg, Thanks!

      All of that sounds pretty cool, and felt like a cool breeze that went right over my head. :) LOL.

      Seriously. Think I got all of it but the PHP code part. Look forward to reading your post on it. Reading it again, I think I see what you are getting at…more options basically?

    6. Greg Swann June 28th, 2008 7:08 pm

      > more options basically?

      Check, and a killer long tail.

    7. Cheryl Johnson June 28th, 2008 7:16 pm

      Also … As a consumer, if I were searching the web for “green” information, I suppose I would be thinking along these lines: What changes can I make to my home, or what products should I buy that will A. benefit the environment, and B. save me money?

      I figure my job here with PBII is to help regular people put some of Greg’s incredible ideas to use. Here is my first effort: http://www.queenofkludge.com/?p=59

      We’ll see if I can do anything with that upcoming post. :-)

    8. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 28th, 2008 7:17 pm

      I’m hoping to not lost the long tail I have through all of this, so knowing about that would help tons!

      One quick question. I’m using a temporary url. When I switch it over, am I going to have to change all of them again? What a pain that would be.

    9. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 28th, 2008 7:21 pm

      Cheryl, between AR and Queen of Kludge there is endless information that made my brain smoke the other day. Awesome!

      I agree about the consumer questions, which is one reason why I’m wanting to do multi user. Let the experts for the product tell them…when needed. I do not want to be liable to explaining stuff like Huper Optic Nano Ceramic Window glaze and stuff. :)

    10. Greg Swann June 28th, 2008 7:30 pm

      > One quick question. I’m using a temporary url. When I switch it over, am I going to have to change all of them again? What a pain that would be.

      That part is easy. When you’re ready to move, you Export your current database, then move your WP files up to the top level, create a new database at that level and Import your database in. Everything should move.

      I have a caveat, and we need to hear from Eric Blackwell or Eric Bramlett about this: What URL structure should Stephanie use? We use the default because it make internal self-reference very easy. But I’m sure by now that using a more keyword-rich format will work better for others.

    11. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 28th, 2008 7:39 pm

      I’ll take your word for it and not sweat the small stuff for now. LOL. The whole database thing is still grey.

    12. Eric Blackwell June 29th, 2008 4:22 am

      Hi Stephanie and welcome!

      I really like the premise of your site that you are INSISTING that it go beyond search engine friendly. In MY definition, true search engine friendly doesn’t count for squat unless it is visually appealling and sticky enough for the user that it CAPTIVATES leads rather than CAPTURES them…another post for another day…as far as how I set up a WordPress structure to make it a little more search engine frendly? I am writing the post now!

      Best

      Eric

    13. [...] This post is just a basic start. What I would love is for some other search engine savvy folks to add to this with specific ideas for Stephanie site and give her some love. Here’s the post I am referring to. [...]

    14. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 29th, 2008 8:31 am

      Eric, Totally agree. What’s the point of getting consumers to your site if they won’t stay? I am focused on the organization of it right now, then to make google happy. A large portion of my visitors are returning visitors, it’s the new ones I’m worried about.

    15. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 29th, 2008 8:33 am

      Oh, and Eric, Thanks for the post you wrote. :)